Nestled along the staggeringly beautiful Hardangerfjord in Norway, there’s a farm where cider production has been perfected over generations. At Harding Økologiske Sideri, the cider is not just a fun bubbly drink, but an ecological celebration of everything nature has to offer.

Norway’s picturesque Hardanger region is known for majestic mountains, fjords, lakes and glaciers, and its apple orchards. Here, the cider-making tradition dates all the way back to the 14th century and can be credited to the climate with long daylight hours and cold temperatures.

Tucked along the famous Hardangerfjord, one farm has taken this old tradition even further. A gem of sustainable agriculture and artisanal craftsmanship, Harding Økologiske Sideri, or Harding Organic Cidery, is known for its commitment to organic farming and traditional cider-making methods, carving out a niche in the growing market for high-quality, environmentally conscious beverages.

Harding Økologiske Sideri: A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

Family tradition and fermentation

“One of the things that makes our beverages unique is the fermentation process,” says Jan Ove Nes, farmer and founder of Harding Økologiske Sideri. The commitment to sustainability and organic farming enhances the flavour of their ciders and also supports and nurtures the existing biodiversity on site. “Most of the time, we use the natural yeast on the apple skin to ferment the cider, making it completely natural. This means that it takes longer than some other fermentation processes, but it’s sustainable and natural. The leftover pulp from the press goes to a neighbour’s cows to avoid waste.”

Harding Økologiske Sideri: A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

Thanks to the sun, rain, and fertile soil, the family has been able to plant organic fruits from apples to plums for generations. Located on ancient land, Nes’ family farm stretches back many generations and there are several burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age on the grounds. It was not until the 90s, however, that the idea to start Harding Sideri was born.

Harding Økologiske Sideri: A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

Are you the designated driver? No worries, Harding Økologiske Sideri also offers a range of non-alcoholic ciders.

“When I moved here to take over the family farm, my grandfather taught me the family recipe he had been using to make cider for the family at home,” says Nes. “Since then, we’ve made a few adjustments to the original recipe. Now, the process has been perfected and adjusted for the production of a modern, organic drink.”

Initially, Nes began by developing a classic Hardanger cider. While it took some time to perfect the product, Harding Økologiske Sideri was finally established in 2020, at the height of the global pandemic. “Every year we’re working to develop more fun flavours that people will enjoy. Right now, we are testing out an unfiltered cider with honey, and a mix of apple juice with lingonberries,” he says.

Harding Økologiske Sideri: A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

Flavours and fun for everyone

Harding Økologiske Sideri offers a diverse range, each with a distinct character. Sparkling Harding Cider, its flagship product, is crisp with a refreshing taste and balanced acidity, pairing well with seafood and poultry dishes. In addition to the original Hardanger Cider, the company has also developed a dry, and a non-filtered (Pet Nat) version, which in addition to the apple and citrus aroma has a hint of butterscotch. Other fun products include Red Harding Cider made of 100% rosette apples, and Kjøpmanns Harding Cider with only 4,7% alcohol.

“We’ve also developed a range of non-alcoholic drinks, with everything from non-alcoholic cider to a pasteurized raspberry juice,” Nes says. Other apple drinks include Eplekyss and Epleklem, both of which are pure, unfermented juice straight from the apples in the apple orchard.

Harding Økologiske Sideri: A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

In addition to its drinks, Harding Økologiske Sideri also sells honey. The Heather Honey has a unique and sweet taste and is rich in antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties. If you are looking for floral honey, the Summer Honey is perfect for cakes, pastries, tea, coffee, or just on its own.

“Becoming cider producers was a natural next step for us, as our farm and orchard already produces organic fruits and berries,” Nes adds. “Now that we are established, we look forward to developing and creating more high-quality, tasty ciders and non-alcoholic drinks.”

Harding Økologiske Sideri is evidently more than just a producer of fine, award-winning ciders; the company is a steward of tradition, a champion of sustainability, and a beacon of quality in the world of organic beverages. With every bottle, it offers a taste of Norway’s rich horticultural heritage and a commitment to preserving it for future generations. As the demand for organic and artisanal products continues to grow, Harding Økologiske Sideri stands out as a shining example of what can be achieved when purpose meets passion.

Harding Økologiske Sideri: A bubbly toast to nature and Norwegian flavours

The happy Harding team showing off its fun ciders and delicious honey.

Facebook: Harding Økologiske Sideri
Instagram: @hardingsideri

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